This week I’ve been giving thought to what makes the ideal glamper. Is glamping for everyone?
You might think that the obvious answer is yes, after all, I want to share the love of glamping with as many people as possible. However, we’ve recently had a few guests that have made me give this some considerable thought.
With rare exception, our guests are truly adorable. Over the past few months, most have come for a romantic getaway to stay in our luxury safari tent, complete with high tea, sparkling wine aromatherapy oils for our outdoor bath in the bush. As the nights are getting colder, snuggling up together with no wifi or TV is the perfect weekend escape. They come seeking a little seclusion and tranquility for a weekend enjoying some simple pleasures and a slower way of life.
Its fascinating to see how enthusiastic they are when they arrive, they enjoy hearing the history of the land, there’s a sense of adventure as they get transported to the glamp site, I love watching their amusement at the solar lights we made with jam jars and LED bulbs and their relief that there are flushing toilets and a hot shower. I smile when I hear their surprise at discovering heart shaped rose petals on the bed.
When I pick them up again after their mini-break, they are happy and relaxed, full of the joy of having spent a great deal of quality time with their loved one, soothed by the exposure to nature and more often than not, very effusive about how much they enjoyed soaking in the outdoor bath.
Last week, we hosted two very different couples. One was very different and not like anyone we have hosted before. They barely spoke when they arrived, either to each other or to me. I had the feeling that they were in the middle of a lovers’ tiff. There were no common courtesies, I did not hear the words please or thank you. They were totally non-plussed by anything they saw. They seemed glued to their phones and the friction between them was palpable. As I left them, I hoped that the magical place and the experience would lift them out of their mood and take them back to whatever loving feelings had made them want to book a romantic weekend away.
When I came to pick them up two days later, they were still uncommunicative. The tent was a mess. They had used every item of plateware and cutlery and not washed up a single item. I could almost imagine that neither one of them was prepared to do anything for the other. But what was really sad was that they had clearly slept apart. They had made up an extra bed and the hot water bottles in both beds were still warm. That fact that they had used all the extra bedding to try to stay warm individually symbolized to me that all they were trying to compensate for how cold the love was between them. Even more sad was that they were a young couple. Even though they claimed they had had a good time, by anyone’s standard, the weekend was clearly not the romantic getaway they must have imagined. They made no attempt to hide their contempt for each other.
That afternoon, another couple checked in. They were vibrant and funny. She was eight months pregnant and they had not had a break together for just the two of them for 11 years. They wanted a romantic weekend away before the baby was born. How sweet! What a difference. They loved the peace and quiet, doing jigsaws, playing board games by lantern light, reading and of course the outdoor bath under the stars at night. They were relaxed and happy when I picked them up and so thankful for the time that they had spent together.
When I thought about both couples and their contrasting experiences with the same ingredients in the same place, it really made me wonder about what kind of people should go glamping. I realized that in order for glamping to live up to expectations, there are certain qualities that people need.
Glamping offers so much to contribute to happiness and a glorious break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life but you do need to bring the right attitude and a desire to enjoy yourself in a situation that is unlike what you have regularly at home. If this is not you, then regrettably, glamping is probably not for you.